Sunday, September 12, 2010

How deep

Annie and I attended a mother daughter retreat this weekend. This is our second year to go. It's an amazing experience - we challenged ourselves on a ropes course, played games together, laughed, chased, and bonded. The retreat is hosted by a lovely evangelical Christian group. As always, I really enjoy observing the way other people worship, the way the rhetoric of worship changes, the kinds of experiences that are valued and all that.

One of the fun things about this weekend was our worship singing. It is much more contemporary than the kind of singing we do in my church. I enjoyed the breath of fresh air. It is also more sincere and less ironic than the kind of music I listen to in my free time. That also was a breath of innocent air.

The song leader had an amplified acoustic guitar in the front, and those of us in the congregation followed the lyrics shining on a large projector screen above her. The music genre for pretty much all of the songs included is very singer-songwriter-y, with mellow and sweet melodies, lots of "yeahs", repetitive song structures (so that I could usually pick it up after once through the first verse), fairly simple lyrics with common motifs ("glory", "waves", "love", "power", etc.) It's extremely user friendly. A person doesn't need to be a skilled musician to be able to jump right in and sing along!

I point all of that out just because I genuinely enjoyed watching the way these believers celebrated. Our song leader was a terrific woman who just brimmed with kindness and charisma. Singing along with her -albeit in a more contemporary way than I would ever find at my church - was really inspirational. And I'll admit, this long lead-in to the song is partly an explanation (excuse?) for my liking of this song.

Because it's not hip.
Or edgy.
Or intellectual.

But it sure is pretty.  As soon as I got back from the retreat, I found the chords so that I could play it too.


  1. You make something that I would (sad to say) probably shy away from sound like so much fun. I want to go to a Christian-sponsored mother/daughter retreat!

  2. Oh I can't WAIT to go on retreats with the kids ... I loved camping so much as a kid. I can't wait for them to go to camp, too. The singing is awesome (and I do love this song), but so is the bonding, and the fun, and the food, and ... oh I love camp. So glad you are back!!